Several readers, including my wife Kay, have requested that I write another self-interview following the popularity of the original interview posted September 1, 2010. It was fun writing the first one, people seemed to like it, and I have no reason not to, so here goes:
Q: So why would you accept the challenge of writing another self-interview?
A: Having specific questions to answer gives me something to write about. Otherwise I have to wonder what this month’s blog entry will be and can I once again come up with something new. This relieves me of being concerned with that. I can simply focus on answering your questions.
Q: You don’t think it’s being overly egotistical to interview yourself?
A: Not really. Who is ever asking who questions anyway? And who is it that answers? If I took the process personally none of it would be very interesting to anyone. Thinking of myself as egotistical would be a very limiting view of this particular expression of Consciousness. Everyone should be careful about how they describe themselves. We become what we describe ourselves to be. Such descriptions as being 'egostistical 'exist only as an element of objective humanity, akin to what yogis might think of as ‘duality,’ or what most people think of as ‘others.’
I don’t have to bother to wonder if something is true or not, because whatever is true remains so forevermore, no matter what I think, and is not worth checking up on every few minutes just to feel that all is well. The Truth is already true, always has been, always will be. It is far beyond our agreement or disagreement, and cares nothing for whether we ‘believe’ in it or not. Our beliefs include our most rigid limitations. True freedom includes freedom from beliefs.
Q: You don’t ‘believe’ anything? Don’t you believe the things you write about?
A: I don’t have any beliefs in the sense of dogma. I write by taking dictation from this voice I hear clearly in my head. My mind used to sometimes question what came up, but over the years I found that everything is practically applicable, so I’ve given up questioning it. It is what it is. I see it as the inner voice of all.
Q: You occasionally use this term, “objective humanity.” Can you explain what you mean by that?
A: Basically, it’s the sense of ‘other,’ or there being ‘someone else.’ According to the conditioning of society, this concept seems perfectly logical and normal. Of course there are others. I see them around me all the time. We even talk to each other. I have significant relationships with these other people.
According to the scriptures and the Masters of all traditions (not to be confused with religions) (except the one Wisdom Religion which remains eternally undivided and unchanged) there is only one Being, one Self, one Consciousness permeating and pervading the cosmos and simultaneously taking the forms of all these appearances, including ‘other people.’
When we give these ‘other people’ an external reality, and see them and relate to them as though they are different from us and they have some independent reality, they become ‘objective humanity’—which is invariably in error because it is based on illusion. Freedom from objective humanity ranks right up there with freedom from ego.
Unfortunately, it’s not the kind of thing we can fully understand simply by having it explained to us. Certain levels of understanding are attained as a result of a process, not from learning new facts. To get the full answer to your question, from my perspective, you’d have to take the course via email. Not because the answer is exclusively available to participants of the course, but because the process of participating in the course is what leads to the answer. That is the nature of the course. Yet it can only be experienced and never adequately explained.
Q: You seem to feel strongly that the present moment is the basis of life.
A: Show me the existence of another time and I’ll consider otherwise. Where is it? Is another time over there somewhere—perhaps behind that wall? Another time never actually exists. It is either a memory or a presumption. We can never truthfully say, I finally escaped from the present moment. We’ll always be here now.
The awareness of the present moment at least gives us an opportunity to enjoy a fulfilled and content life. If we are ‘lost in thought and lost in time,’ as Pink Floyd put it, we are missing out on the reality of our own life, which exists only now, in this present moment.
The future is a presumption, since any moment could be our last. The past is the interplay between memories and emotions based on melodramas that seemed important at the time. We can bring up negative feelings simply by remembering them from the past. Be free from memory except when it’s uplifting or useful in a practical way.
Q: Can you give an example of the present moment?
A: I’ll rather tell you how absurd that question is, but it’s probably easier, and in better taste, to simply give you an example:
The other day I walked into the kitchen and Kay was standing still, like in some combination of tadasana and samadhi, her head tilted slightly backward, her arms raised upward and outward.
I said, ‘What on earth are you doing?’
She replied, ‘I’m waiting to remember.’
I said, ‘Remember what?’
‘If I knew that,’ she answered, ‘I wouldn’t be waiting.’
So that is an example of the present moment. We’re in a state of waiting to remember, although we’re not actually ‘waiting’ for anything. Being fully present has no anticipation. More specifically, we’re in the space between thoughts, whether we ever remember anything again or not.
The space between any two thoughts is the present moment, and this continues undisturbed throughout eternity. One who can live and function in the space between thoughts, lives in eternity, completely unaffected by temporary appearances.
Mental and emotional activities often take our awareness out of the present moment and back into the story of our so-called life. Then we think we are these people and that these things are going on in our lives. And when we reach this point the Truth has been forgotten. It has even been forgotten that the Truth was ever of any true significance or relevance. We once again consider ourselves to be a part of objective humanity, and we get caught in mass thinking.
On the other hand, we can reach the point where thoughts and feelings are simply something happening in the present moment, so that we are free from identification with them and are no longer affected by them. They no longer disturb our state. We simply observe them pass by. If the thoughts, words, and actions of others no longer disturb our state, we are free from objective humanity.
Q: There is so much information available on the Internet and elsewhere. Out of all this, what makes this course so special? Couldn’t we just as easily get the same thing elsewhere?
A: You might be able to get the same thing elsewhere, but the chances of that actually happening are much slimmer than you might believe. The course isn’t about communicating information, although that happens too. The course is a process of transformation that happens through participation.
Participation consists only of referring to one’s current lesson, for the two weeks devoted to that lesson, as regularly as possible. Also, of course, it is highly beneficial to actually apply the principles of that lesson in practical ways in one’s own daily life. This way it becomes part of our being, an aspect of our inner wisdom, and not simply something that we ‘know’ in an intellectual way, which is of little value and will probably be soon forgotten.
It’s not like you take a written quiz at the end and then you’re graded according to how well your mind learned it. It’s more like you simply live your life differently, more freely and easily, more harmoniously and flowingly, and more enjoyably than you were able to before. It’s not like the mind can explain why this happens. Besides, there’s no one to explain it to except the ego.
Like you said, there is plenty of information out there. There are plenty of teachers and groups who will happily fill your head with new facts, according to their own interpretation of things. Participation in the course is a dynamic process, not a study of new facts. Yet talking about it doesn’t capture the experience of the process of participating. That would be like wanting a banana, and instead someone comes and tells you about how it feels to eat a banana. This is never satisfying. We want our own banana.
Q: And this transformation through participation in the course happens why?
A: It has a lot to do with the teachers I have studied with over the years, as a lot is being passed on to others that I received from my own teachers. Many things aren’t fully received until they are sufficiently passed on.
Q: Do you think this blog is read only by participants of the course?
A: I certainly hope not. If it is, the participants aren’t doing a very good job of letting others know about the blog. It’s very simple to forward the link to a friend or post it on their Facebook page or wherever interested people might see it. It’s not going to do anyone any harm to read this. There’s nothing that weird, nothing too offensive. It’s just a certain take on the ways things work that makes perfect sense to certain people.
To certain people, the course speaks to their heart, it awakens inner awareness, it reminds them once again of the Truth of the Present Moment. Some people have taken the course for many years now. Why, after all this time, are they still looking forward to their next lesson? It’s not because they’re hoping to learn a new fact. It’s more because they know they’ll experience the Truth once again, or in some new way. The Truth, with a capital ‘T,’ is always new, even though it is also ancient.
Q: Any final words for us at this point?
A: I am happy to know you; yet I have known you deeply for a long, long time. We each share the same Self. This is not a theory or an opinion. One day you might be amazed at how obvious it is. I invite you to meet in the space of love, which is eternal. All temporary phenomena passes.
Everything is available through the openness, willingness, and commitment to actually begin and then to keep going. Very soon the most amazing and unexpected process begins to happen, and it continues to happen more and more expansively for quite a long time. And there’s nothing really to think about—it’s either intuitively obvious or absolutely meaningless. And ultimately it doesn’t matter either way. It just depends on what we are ready for now.
For information about the Course of Training written by D. R. Butler and available by email, write: firstname.lastname@example.org